Eight years after R.E.M. called it quits former singer Michael Stipe is prepping his first official solo single. And, in keeping with the legendary band’s socially conscious tradition, it will benefit a very good cause. Stipe announced on Wednesday (Oct. 2) that “Your Capricious Soul” will drop on Saturday (Oct. 5), just two days before Monday’s “International Rebellion” global climate justice protests.
The track — which Stipe played live earlier this year — will be released digitally on Stipe’s site — and will be available for the next year for 77 cents (or more if fans are willing). All earnings from sales and synchs will be redirected to Extinction Rebellion, a non-violent global movement using civil disobedience in an effort to “halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of social collapse.” The track will not immediately appear on any major digital streaming platforms.
“I took a long break from music, and I wanted to jump back in,” Stipe said in a statement, explaining why he’s finally ready to fly solo. “I love ‘Your Capricious Soul’ – it’s my first solo work. I want to add my voice to this exciting shift in consciousness. Extinction Rebellion gave me the incentive to push the release and not wait. Our relationship to the environment has been a lifelong concern, and I now feel hopeful — optimistic, even. I believe we can bring the kind of change needed to improve our beautiful planet earth, our standing and our place on it.”
The song’s video was created by acclaimed filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy, A Million Little Pieces).
Check out a live performance of “Capricious Soul” from Webster Hall in May of this year.